In South Africa, we often think of ourselves as different but how different are we to the global market?
Local Talent is Vital
No doubt you have read about Amazon's search for a second HQ. Silicon Valley and Seattle battle for the best tech skills, but still don't have enough. US cities were asked for tax breaks for HQ2 and some thought that a city with lower costs would win. However, higher cost locations like New York City (although that is on hold) and Virginia were selected. Both have a lot of tech workers and access to skills trumped lower costs and tax breaks. Tech workers won't necessarily move so companies have to go to them.
South Africa is no different. Cape Town and Gauteng have had a lot of tech investment in the last twenty years partially thanks to many overseas companies setting up lower-cost development centres. The Silicon Cape initiative has tracked many digital startups and predictably some have flourished.
This is not to say that the contributions of Durban are insignificant, but it certainly seems that there are more opportunities in the Cape and Gauteng and the tech professional shortage leads to higher wages and more opportunities for career growth.
Post elections, Parvana have many new vacancies and exciting times are ahead of us.
Diversity is Happening
In South Africa, we often conflate diversity with employment equity, but race is just but one component of diversity. Globally, companies embrace diversity, not just because of legislation or political correctness (although some may do that) but because it has a real business return. Lorenzo and Reeves studied companies across eight countries, and found that more diverse companies were more innovative and profitable.
In South Africa, the tech space has been perceived as being very unfriendly toward women. Given that females perform well in maths, and are shining in other scientific professions, it does seem that women are woefully underrepresented in our tech sector. With our tech worker shortage, we cannot afford to marginalise any group. We predict that the next 12 months will see a shift with SA following the USA's lead and actively focusing on gender equality.
We have many clients that will bend over backwards in pursuit of a more diverse and talented team.
If you are considering a move or have any questions please contact me.